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Trumps approves deal with Canada to update NAFTA

01 Oct,2018

Reuters,Washington: 
US president Donald Trump has approved a deal to update the North American Free Trade Agreement, keeping the trilateral pact with Canada and Mexico.

The United States and Canada have reached a last minute deal to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement, according to people familiar with the negotiations, overcoming deep divisions to keep the 25-year-old trilateral pact intact, reports nytimes.com.

The deal came after a weekend of frantic talks to try and preserve a trade agreement that has stitched together the economies of Mexico, Canada and the United States but that was in danger of collapsing amid deep divisions between president Trump and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.

The 11th-hour agreement was punctuated by a frenetic Sunday, with Canada’s leaders teleconferencing throughout the day with top American officials in Washington.

Trudeau convened a 10:00pm cabinet meeting in Ottawa to brief officials on the deal, as Jared Kushner, one of Trump’s closest advisers, and Robert E. Lighthizer, the president’s top trade negotiator, hashed out the final details.

Mexico’s under secretary of foreign trade, Juan Carlos Baker, was expected to present the texts of the agreement to the Mexican senate just before midnight.

Text of the agreement was expected to be presented to Congress as early as Sunday evening.

The deal represents a win for president Trump, who has derided NAFTA for years and threatened to pull the United States from the pact if it was not rewritten in America’s favour.

The Trump administration struck a deal with Mexico last month to rewrite NAFTA and had threatened to jettison Canada from the pact if it did not agree to concessions like opening its dairy market to United States farmers.

The White House had set a September 30 deadline to release the text of its new trade agreement with Mexico.

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